What Licenses and Permits Are Usually Required to Start a Business?


Quick Answer

To start a business, a person needs a basic business operation license, a federal employer identification number, a fictitious business name permit, and zoning and land use permits, according to FindLaw. Other essential licenses and permits include health department permits, a sales tax license and fire department permits.

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Full Answer

A prospective business owner should obtain a business operation license from the city wherein he plans to start a business; if he intends to operate outside the city, he should get a license from the local county, states FindLaw. In addition to a federal employer identification number, or tax identification number, business owners may need to get a tax identification number from the state's department of revenue.

Selling firearms, gasoline, lottery tickets or liquor requires an individual to obtain special state-issued business license and permits, notes FindLaw. Any business that intends to offer state-regulated services, such as insurance sales, tax services, real estate sales, auto repair or medical care, also needs particular state-issued occupational or professional licenses.

Those who plan to offer investment advising need to contact the Securities and Exchange Commission for information about required federal business licenses and permits, says FindLaw. Businesses that involve the manufacture of drugs or meat product preparation need permits from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and businesses that offer broadcasting services require licenses from the Federal Communications Commission.

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